April 8, 2012

mozzarella pulling

Another lighthearted activity we did was pulling mozzarella.

We started with a giant block of mozzarella curd that Chef had purchased.

mozzarella curd

This was cut into cubes and submerged in hot (140-150F) water until the curds melted and started seeping through the collander.

heating curd

The heated curd was transferred to a cutting board, where we got our gloved hands on it.

heated curd

First we pulled mozzarella into balls by squeezing with one hand and pinching with the other. It was ideal not to pull/work the cheese too much or it would become too tough (just like dough).

pulling mozzarella

As soon as the balls were formed we dropped them into a salty ice bath (made with special flaked salt, especially good for flavoring cheese because of its fine texture) for the cheese to set.

mozzarella ice bath

I swear, my first bite of the mozzarella I fished out took me all the way back to elementary school and how I discovered string cheese for the first time. It was that good. (And way better than how string cheese tastes to me now.)

Chef also demonstrated how to roll up the cheese into a log, then tying them off with string to form balls that way (much like sausage).

tying mozzarella balls

Additionally we could roll mozzarella into logs with fillings inside. We tried prosciutto and spicy coppa and asparagus pesto.

rolling mozzarella

When these logs were cut into slices they formed cheese roulades. Mmm mm delicious.

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